Technical Analysis and Chart Interpretations: A Comprehensive Guide
What happened next could only be described as total immersion. We were like cult members. Our team of four would work from 8 a.m. until the closing bell. After the close, we’d look at every single chart in the S&P 500.
Then we’d go to dinner, or to the bar, or just hang around the office while the cleaning crew worked around us, and the technical analysis conversation would continue. Any remaining time was spent reading additional books on technical analysis and growth stocks as assigned by our mentor.
While I loved learning about technical analysis, I wasn’t fond of being a broker. At one time I’d believed that brokers traded and managed money for their clients.
This is only somewhat true; eventually, I learned that being a broker has more to do with selling than with trading.
The final straw occurred when my employer asked me to obtain a license to sell life insurance. There is nothing wrong with selling insurance to people who need it; I just didn’t want to be the person who sold it to them. Instead, I wanted to use everything I’d learned about technical analysis to become a full-time professional trader. So, I quit.
The Next Step
For a long time, I’d been sending my trading track record to anyone I could find who hired traders. I’d scour the Sunday New York Times and collect e-mail addresses, and then bombard them with my trading record. I had a solid record, mainly thanks to the very forgiving bull market environment of the 1990s.
After months of this, with no indication that anyone noticed or cared, the phone finally rang—would I like to interview for a trading job on Wall Street? This time, I was interviewed by just one person—and he seemed like amaniac. He stomped around his spacious Wall Street office, alternately mumbling and shouting.
His expensive suit was wrinkled and uneven, and he needed a shave. He looked as if he’d been out all night.
Suddenly, I wanted my old job back, a good paying job from which I’d walked away. What had I gotten myself into? I didn’t know it at the time, but this man was a well-known character on Wall Street. He ran several investment firms, one of which employed over 400 traders.
When I told him I was willing to travel 100 miles by train to get to work every morning and another 100 miles to get home every night, he hired me on the spot.
Once again, it was a case of total immersion. I’d catch a train before dawn, always clutching a book and a copy of Investor’s Business Daily. Eventually, one of those books would be Confessions of a Street Addict by legendary hedge fund manager Jim Cramer.
Years later, I’d work with Jim and even merit a brief mention in one of his books. I saw the same faces every morning on the train. Every day, a young man and an older man would board the train together, and I’d overhear them discussing technical analysis. The older gent was an experienced arbitrage trader, and the kid was a college athlete who was just getting started in the business. Every day, we’d discuss indicators and other technical concepts. Years later, we would all work together at a midtown Manhattan trading firm.
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